Our "own" car reviews

PelicanHazard

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Joined
Feb 22, 2008
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2,454
Location
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Car(s)
'13 Dart 1.4T mtx, '03 Ranger, '20 KTM 390 Duke
...really? Even worse than this?
*A Cavalier*[/spoiler]

I'm suddenly tempted to test drive one just to see how bad it is for myself...

NO. Do not do it. You would spend the money better if you paid a blind hobo to sew a tuxedo made out of newspaper scraps fished from the three rivers before donning said tux and molesting a rabid raccoon. You'd save money compared to renting a Journey and have a more interesting story at the end of it. Willingly climbing into a Journey is a tacit admission that you would tell everyone who caught even a glimpse of you that you are a boring square shell of a person if you could be bothered to dehydrate yourself shouting it at the top of your lungs 24/7.

Given the choice, I would have gladly handcuffed myself to the steering wheel of the Cavalier than to have driven the Journey.
 

Leadfoot866

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
1,429
Location
Southwestern PA
Car(s)
'12 Ford Focus hatch, '06 Nissan Sentra sedan
Given the choice, I would have gladly handcuffed myself to the steering wheel of the Cavalier than to have driven the Journey.

...wow. That bad, eh?

:lol:
 

SchumacherM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
3,632
Location
Slovenia
Car(s)
Fiat Stilo 1.8 16V
Supposedly the Freemont (Fiats european Journey) is a nice, soft touch thing on the inside. With tidy diesels and a nice manual box.
 

Adunaphel

KLAUWD
STAFF MEMBER
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
11,568
Location
Fermany
Car(s)
'18 Clio; '13 Cube Hyde
Rental Roulette C3 VTi 82 Collection

Rental Roulette C3 VTi 82 Collection

So, last week my rental roulette got delivered to my workplace on my day off, due to a snafu at the rental agency. When I opened the envelope containing the keys the following morning I was a bit disappointed to find a Citro?n key in there. I had been hoping for a nice VW Polo TSI. Upon further inspection I learned that it was a 60kW 1.2l version. Then I found out that it was only a three-pot. This only deepened my disappointment, and lowered my expectations for the car.
That afternoon I got in the car, expecting all kinds of disappointment. Opening the door I was kinda disappointed, giant seas of blackness awaited me in the interior, with the exception of the seats, which are upholstered in a funky grey open hexagonal fabric. There?s a glossy black panel running the width of the dashboard, and a nicely textured soft-touch ?slab? over it. The centre console is made from the same glossy plastic as the rest of the dashboard. It all looks quite nice, but it?s not the funky stuff you expect from a Citro?n. The steering wheel is a nice surprise, nicely sculpted with a flat bottom and upholstered in leather.

I grabbed my phone and hey, there?s Bluetooth. In pairing it was a bit well, temperamental. It took me five minutes to get it to work, after which I was greeted with an adequate sounding replica from my phone?s music through AD2P. There?s a couple EQ options in the menus, but none of them actually make it sound better, they all feel like caricatures of what one would expect of them. Call quality is again adequate, with the microphone located in the car?s A-pillar. The radio is a DIN-sized unit in the bottom of the centre stack, which doesn?t really fit with the rest of the interior. The display is conveniently located at the top of the centre stack, where you can choose between a couple readouts, a trip computer, a clock, phone info or music information.

Then I turned the key and started the lawnmower engine. Yup, that?s a three pot alright. Put it in gear and drive off. Turns out I couldn?t be more wrong with my expectations. The car feels light and nimble (which at 950kg, it is), the engine is peppy and likes to rev. Even though it has only 82ps, it gets up to motorway speeds faster than you?d expect, in only 12.3s the 100kph barrier is broken, and it should go on to a 172 kph top speed. Because I am quite fond of both my money and my driver?s license, I haven?t verified that top speed, but it has very little problems hitting 150 on the speedo. Sound insulation is much better than I expected for such a small car, which is a good thing because the three-pot still sounds like a lawnmower, even at motorway speeds. Motorway acceleration is much, much better than I expected. I hardly need to shift down to keep up with the flow of traffic. Not that shifting down will do you much good. The engine?s relatively strong midrange comes at the expense of the top end, which is a trade-off I can live with in a car like this.
The car?s ergonomics are a bit weird at times. The stalks on the steering column are far too high for my taste. With my hands at a comfortable 8 and 4 o?clock position I constantly need to reach for them, which quickly becomes annoying when you need to change lanes often in rush hour traffic. The upside is that the cruise control?s controls are just in the right place for operation with the left hand, and the radio?s satellite on the opposite side of the wheel is equally within easy reach.

Driving it, it's quite oviously a front-wheel drive econobox with a high build. The suspension's setup is on the comfortable side, and the handling is obviously set up with lots of "safe" understeer. Nothin special, nothing unexpected, nothing bad, just middle of the road stuff. Because of the high build, and low weight, crosswinds can toss the car around a bit, especially when you're passing bigger stuff. Due to my commute lacking any serious kind of twisties, I haven't had a chance of really giving its handlign a test, but I'm not sure if that is a bad thing.

Getting out of the driver?s seat and checking the rear, there?s another disappointment. The space in the front really comes at the expense of rear leg room. The car?s boot is adequate, it should hold your shopping, but much more than a weekend?s luggage won?t fit.

And now, pictures.










 
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NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
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Belgium
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Can't say I disagree with anything really, Bluetooth was just as bad with my version, and you're lucky you didn't throw it into any bends (ridiculous understeer and no ESP = bad)
 

Lastsoul

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Jul 9, 2005
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2,187
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Finland
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MX5, 406 Coup?, 106 Rallye, Porsche 924, X300 Six


Mercedes CLA200. I only drove it briefly, but it left me pretty impressed. Styling is a matter of taste, and while it doesn't remind me of any traditional Mercedes, it works pretty well. It is not a large car, so to have enough head room and to meet modern safety standards the proportions are a bit chunky: it could be 5cm lower from aesthetic point of view. That would make the rear seat totally useless however. At the moment it's okay for occasional use, but you should think the CLA as a coupe with easy access to the rear seats thanks to four door construction. So whatever Mercedes might say, it is not a coupe. However, it presents a rare breed of four door cars with frameless windows. It also has remarkably low drag coefficient, only 0,23. Blue Efficiency model is even better, 0,22.



It feels pretty decent inside. It feels cheaper than E-class for example, but we are comparing cars of totally different classes here. For its price there is nothing to complain and it still feels 100% Mercedes. It's quite different to drive than traditional Benz sedans however, the driving dynamics have progressed just as much as the styling for the golden era of the 80s. Lately Mercedes has improved its typical steering dramatically, and todays most of the models have much better feeling steering (that doesn't mean there is any feel however, but such are steering systems of today) than normal BMWs for example. I used to hate the old school Mercedes non-centering steering with zero feedback when going straight, but CLA, like most other current models, have progressed immensely. You could even throw the car into a corner and it managed rather well, your driving line tightening when throttle was lifted etc. Front wheel drive means much less potential for hooning, but hey, as you can not disable the ESP system on the RWD models, you are not sacrificing much even if it is wrong wheel drive.



All in all, it's a genuine rival for 1-series and A3, and much more interesting to look at than either of those. CLA doesn't offer anything sensible over the normal A-class, but it certainly looks different. I would personally go for the 1-series because of the possibility to disable the ESP and the fact that it is RWD, but I genuinely wouldn't recommend it over the new A/CLA to anybody less obsessed with driving. Anyway, those who are looking for a base spec C-class might be tempted by the CLA, and it will be interesting to see where the next generation of C-class goes.

 

rickhamilton620

has a fetish for terrible cars
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Nov 28, 2009
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Yoe, PA
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2012 Kia Forte EX
It feels pretty decent inside. It feels cheaper than E-class for example, but we are comparing cars of totally different classes here.

How does the interior compare to a C-class?

CLA is a total looker, I'll admit. And I'm fond of the old school A-Class hatch/MPV thing.
 

Lastsoul

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Messages
2,187
Location
Finland
Car(s)
MX5, 406 Coup?, 106 Rallye, Porsche 924, X300 Six
I've never been a fan of the W204 C-class interior, and as it is an outgoing model the difference in design language is totally different. Materialwise it's hard to compare, as I haven't sat in a C-class in last three years, except C63 and that's a bit different animal.
 

NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
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9,812
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Belgium
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VW eGolf, Hyundai Kona 1.0
I love the looks of the CLA, and the interior looks awesome from that shot, but I fail to see the appeal over a regular A class...
It's the same car with a bigger boot, and I don't see how that means I have to pay thousands more
 

narf

Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill
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Feb 1, 2008
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Kiel/Wherever, Germany
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'19 BMW M240i
1700km later it's time to part ways again, less traffic in the evenings allowed me to raise the overall diesel consumption to 6.2ish l/100km :clap: which of course were translated into higher speeds :burnrubber:
Overall nothing's changed, it's still a comfy distance eater. Today I was annoyed by its boring looking front though - following an Audi, idiot in a B-Class lets him pass and then pulls out at half our speed... I guess Passats shall not pass :(
 

Adunaphel

KLAUWD
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Joined
Jan 18, 2006
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11,568
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Fermany
Car(s)
'18 Clio; '13 Cube Hyde
Don't get me started on REVO EVOM power.... Coming from a black BMW 3er to a red and cute Citroen hatchback, it takes a lot more "persuasion" to get people to move when I'm in the surrenderhatch.

Filled up the Citroen for the first time yesterday, and was a bit disappointed, consumption was a fairly unimpressive 7ish l/100km. Okay, the car isn't built to do 140-150 kph speeds, the engine drinks a lot more as soon as speeds get above 120.
 

Adunaphel

KLAUWD
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Fermany
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'18 Clio; '13 Cube Hyde
It's also a thing for German cars, all of them seem to be built for comfortable cruising around 180 or more.
 

Lastsoul

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Jul 9, 2005
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2,187
Location
Finland
Car(s)
MX5, 406 Coup?, 106 Rallye, Porsche 924, X300 Six
Somehow it's hard for me to imagine VW Up cruising 180km/h in comfort ;)
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
5,288
Location
Finland
Car(s)
Insignia CT 4x4 CDTI Biturbo
I've never driven the Up nor either of its siblings but I keep hearing good thing about them.

Only thing I don't agree with is the way they built the trip computer into a stupid customized "steal me" Navigon unit perched on top of the dashboard. They should just have integrated the damn thing into the dash.
 

narf

Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill
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'19 BMW M240i
Rental car roulette with a twist :D

I noticed a company Audi not being booked, so... yoink! Mine for two weeks :clap:


Crappy cellphone picture for now, wet&cold outside...

It's a manual B8 A4 TDI, I'll have to dig in the papers whether it's the 2.7 or 3.0. A bit over 100000 on the odo, 2.5 years old. Didn't get to go onto the Autobahn yet, Monday...
 

McRae

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Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
1,193
You can always tell if it's a V6 or an I4 from whether it's got a dual-pipe exhaust or not.
 
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